ECB: Ireland must be ready for more austerity if targets are missed

ECB: Ireland must be ready for more austerity if targets are missed

The ECB and European Commission has said the Government needs to be ready to impose more austerity measures if needed.

Members of the bodies left Dublin this afternoon after finishing a week-long inspection of Ireland's finances, and say the economy could be about to hit a road bump.

The warning is contained in a statement following their post-bailout inspection. They say the deficit may now be slightly higher than predicted on Budget Day, but will still fall well within targets.

They warn the Government must be poised to make further cuts if it is in danger of missing its overall targets.

There is no mention of water charges in the statement, but they call for more to be done in bank lending, mortgage arrears and health overspending, and note the delay in reform of legal services.

Their comments come after the Taoiseach played down any fears the Troika might have about Irish Water failing a crucial EU financial test.

After facing hundreds of water charges protestors in Cork, Enda Kenny said the new water scheme was designed specifically to pass the test.

"The only purpose of the European Union being involved in Ireland's programme now is purely for statistical purposes," he said.

"We're very happy that the scheme put forward is predicated on passing the market test as defined by Europe."


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